WITA Webinar: COVID-19 & Trade – Ports, Logistics and Global Supply Chains





WITA Webinar Featuring: 

Ralph Carter, Staff Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, FedEx Corporation

Phil Levy, Chief Economist, Flexport

Curtis Robinhold, Executive Director, Port of Portland

Evelyn Suarez, Principal, The Suarez Firm 

Webinar Summary:

Moderator Evelyn Suarez began by asking the panelists how the pandemic has been impacting trade, which led to a discussion with Phil Levy on recent decreases in the rate of air freight transportation on commercial flights as well as ocean shipping. Curtis Robinhold relayed that marine port tonnage has also declined, and noted a fast dip in automobile imports.

Ralph Carter outlined the changes made within FedEx to ensure the health and safety of the company’s frontline workers by increasing virtual operations while also managing varying regulations employed by countries around the world.

Following the discussion on Covid19’s impact on trade, the panelists answered Evelyn’s questions regarding the future of U.S. trade policy with China and the EU, lessons learned about the importance of each step in the global supply chain, and the overall necessity to adapt new policies, especially those involving technology and virtual communication.

The session wrapped up with a Q&A, and the panelists responded to questions from the Teamsters about worker safety, an inquiry about empty container management following the pandemic, and how future  negotiations with the EU will affect supply chains.